Skip to Content

Search: {{$root.lsaSearchQuery.q}}, Page {{$}}

Bio and Abstracts


(Professor of Psychology, University of New Mexico)

The Usual Suspects Magnetized: When Neuroscience and Law Collide!


From brain tumors to the latest functional and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging techniques, from schizophrenia to serial killers, a series of criminal cases will be used to illustrate how neuroscience is reshaping the courtroom. The practical and philosophical aspects of how neuroscience is impacting legal decisions will be discussed.

Dr. Kiehl is a Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience and Law at the University of New Mexico and Executive Science Officer of the non-profit Mind Research Network in Albuquerque, NM. Dr. Kiehl conducts clinical neuroscience research of major mental illnesses, with special focus on criminal psychopathy, sex offenders, substance abuse, and psychotic disorders.

Dr. Kiehl’s laboratory makes use of the one-of-a-kind Mind Mobile MRI System (patent pending) to conduct research and treatment protocols with forensic populations. To date his laboratory has deployed the Mobile MRI to collect brain imaging data from over 3000 offenders at eight different facilities in two states. This represents the world’s largest forensic neuroscience repository.

Dr. Kiehl received his undergraduate degree in psychology and neuroscience at The University of California Davis where he began his scientific career in as research assistant in the Center for Neuroscience working with Dr. Michael Gazzaniga and Dr. George Mangun. He completed his doctorate in psychology and neuroscience in 2000 from the University of British Columbia under the tutelage of Drs. Robert Hare and Peter Liddle. Following graduate school Dr. Kiehl worked as a faculty member in the Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology at Yale University and he was also the Director of Clinical Cognitive Neuroscience at the Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center at the Institute of Living from 2001-2007.

Dr. Kiehl has authored over 140 peer-reviewed manuscripts and he currently directs seven major NIH projects in the areas of adolescent psychopathy, adult psychopathy, substance abuse, and early stage psychosis. Dr. Kiehl has been honored by the EEG & Clinical Neuroscience Society (2005) and the Society for Psychophysiological Research (SPR; 2005) for distinguished early career contributions.

Dr. Kiehl lectures extensively to state and federal judges, lawyers, probation officers, correctional officials, and lay audiences about the intersection of neuroscience and law. In the last several years he has worked with the Federal Judicial Center (FJC) to develop the educational curriculum for federal judges on neuroscience in the courtroom. He also serves as a legal consultant on criminal and civil cases involving psychopathy and/or brain imaging.

Dr. Kiehl’s forthcoming popular audience book, The Psychopath Whisperer: The Science of Those Without Conscience, is available for pre-ordering on Amazon.

Dr. Kiehl’s research has recently been highlighted in the New Yorker “Suffering Souls” by John Seabrook, New Yorker, November 10, 2008, pages 64-73; Scientific American Mind and on NPR; Inside A Psychopath's Brain: The Sentencing Debate by Barbara Bradley Hagerty, National Public Radio (NPR). June 30, 2010.



(Professor of Philosophy, Dartmouth College)

Mindreading: Past, Present, and Future


Neuroimaging techniques provide unprecedented access to a variety of kinds of information about the brain, including, to some extent, the contents of thoughts. I discuss the extent to which fMRI allows us to “read minds”, including recent advances in our ability to decode semantic content, to reconstruct visual and auditory perceptions, and to identify memories and tell sincere from deceptive responses. I briefly discuss the legal implications of such advances, both as they stand now and as they may impact the law in the future. I conclude that our current abilities to read minds are more limited than many realize, but even moderate prospects for improvement raise ethical and legal questions about how this information is related to privacy rights and the evidential status of imaging data.

Adina Roskies is a professor of philosophy at Dartmouth College. She received a Ph.D from the University of California, San Diego in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science in 1995, and a Ph.D. from MIT in philosophy in 2004. She is currently earning an M.S.L. from Yale Law School. From 1995-1997 she held a postdoctoral fellowship in cognitive neuroimaging at Washington University with Steven Petersen and Marcus Raichle, and was Senior Editor of the neuroscience journal Neuron between 1997-1999. Dr. Roskies’ philosophical research interests lie at the intersection of philosophy and neuroscience, and include philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, and ethics. She was a member of the McDonnell Project in Neurophilosophy and the MacArthur Law and Neuroscience Project. She has published many articles in both philosophy and the neurosciences, among which are several devoted to exploring and articulating issues in neuroethics. She recently published A Primer on Criminal Law and Neuroscience with Stephen Morse. Recent awards include the William James Prize and the Stanton Prize, awarded by the Society of Philosophy and Psychology, the Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Faculty Fellowship from the Princeton University Center for Human Values, and a Mellon New Directions fellowship.



(Associate Professor of Law, University of Minnesota)

The Law's Mind/Body Problem


Many areas of law distinguish between “mental” and “physical” for purposes of liability, financial recovery, and criminal sanction. Conversely, cognitive neuroscience posits that mental states can be understood to be physical brain states. The dilemma is thus: should law’s reliance on the mental/physical distinction be transformed, or even eliminated, in light of neuroscientific discoveries about the physical, brain basis of our mental lives? Or are there principled reasons for some bodies of law to continue to use such a distinction?

Drawing on recent empirical work, this talk will survey the complex (and confused) legal landscape, showing how the mind-body distinction is legally salient across a wide range of legal contexts; how that distinction is described differently across contexts; and how courts’ assessments of mind and body compare to neuroscience perspectives. I argue that even though law’s conceptual frameworks are at times inconsistent with modern science, the utility and ethics of erasing the mental/physical divide in law are far from clear.



(Distinguished Professor, University of California - Irvine)

The Memory Factory


People sometimes remember things that never happened, and my research explores how and why this happens. Sometimes the errors in memory are relatively small, as when people remember details of recent events differently than they really occurred. Sometimes the errors are large, as when people are led to remember entire events that did not occur to them, which we call “rich false memories.” People can be led to falsely believe that they have had familiar experiences, but also implausible ones. They can even be led to believe that they did things that would have been impossible. They can be led to falsely believe that they had experiences that would have been rather emotional or traumatic had they actually happened. False memories, like true ones, also have consequences for people, affecting later thoughts, intentions, and behaviors. False memories look very much like true ones – in terms of behavioral characteristics, emotionality, and neural signatures. Finally, false memories can linger for quite sometime, just as true memories do.

Elizabeth Loftus is Distinguished Professor at the University of California - Irvine. She holds faculty positions in two departments: Psychology & Social Behavior; and Criminology, Law & Society. She is also Professor of Law. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University. Since then, she has published 22 books (including the award winning Eyewitness Testimony) and over 500 scientific articles. Loftus's research of the last 30 years has focused on the malleability of human memory. She has been recognized for this research with six honorary doctorates and election to the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the American Philosophical Society, and the National Academy of Sciences. She is past president of the Association for Psychological Science, the Western Psychological Association, and the American Psychology-Law Society.